French Engineer Converts Old Cars into DIY Poor Man’s Teslas

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French engineer Marc Areny didn’t let his financial status get in the way of owning a Tesla – he simply built a DIY version for himself.

A resident of Romania since 2011, Marc was driven by the idea of making “an electric car that anyone could afford, not just elites.” So he started off with Romania’s national car, the low-cost 2005 Dacia Logan by Renault, and got rid of all the parts that worked on petrol. Instead, he replaced them with batteries and an electric motor. The result was a reliable and fast vehicle that does the job pretty well, albeit without all of Tesla’s bells and whistles – touchscreens and other gizmos.

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The PodRide – A Four-Wheeled Electric Bicycle Disguised as a Tiny Car

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Swedish designer Mikael Kjellman has created a unique vehicle that looks like a tiny car, but has the internal workings of an electric bicycle. He calls it the PodRide bicycle car.

“I really like to bike, but where I live in Sweden, the weather is not always very bicycle-friendly,” Mikael explained. “So I designed and built a four-wheeled bike with full fabric body to keep dry and warm in all weathers. I have driven it to work every day for a year now and it has proven to be a very practical and comfortable little vehicle.”

The ‘bicycle car’ has several advantages over a traditional electric bicycle – it comes with a waterproof body, heated windscreen, soft seat with back support, studded tires for snowy roads, and air suspension. It also has some trunk space in the back, as well as functional headlights and a tow bar in case someone wants to add a bike trailer.

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Need for Speed – 81-Year-Old Polish Lady Loves Driving Her 300hp 2016 Subaru WRX STI

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Challenging the idea that elderly ladies are slow is 81-year-old Michalina Borowczyk-Jędrzeje. The Polish grandmother is the proud owner of a 2016 Subaru WRX STI, a car that she enjoys taking out for a spin every single day. Photographs and video clips of her driving the cool sports car have gone viral online, much to the amusement of younger Polish residents.

Speaking to the media, Michalina revealed that she’s been passionate about fast cars since childhood. And now that she’s retired, she has plenty of time to drive around town in her favorite car. Some reports have suggested that the Subaru isn’t Michalina’s first car – she has apparently owned several Opels, a BMW, a Mazda, and a Honda before this. But Subaru has always been her favorite, and she saved up for 13 years before she could finally afford the €46,000 ($50,285) car. “I love the sound of its engine,” she said. “It purrs, it is a pleasure. This car has a soul, a heart, and unlike other cars, it got me hooked.”

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New Startup Has Gas Delivered to Your Parked Car

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WeFuel, a new Silicon Valley startup, is the latest to join a host of ‘Uber for Gas’ type services. It’s an app-based refuelling service that promises to have a gas truck reach users at the location of their choice within 30 minutes of placing the order. The app can currently be used in Palo Alto and Menlo Park.

The launch of WeFuel last week kicked up several debates online; those in love with the idea are quick to point out its obvious advantages – if you run out of gas, you can get it delivered to your car at the touch of a button. Pumping gas is a waste of time, according to many, and WeFuel addresses that problem beautifully.

Obviously, this premium service comes with an added cost, so WeFuel does not appeal to those who want to save money. They argue that the only time you’ll want gas delivered is in an emergency, which isn’t likely to happen very often. Also, it’s lazy, wasteful and hazardous to the environment to have a gas truck come to you all the time, because of all the extra gas needed to transport fuel. 

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26-Year-Old Hacker Builds Self-Driving Car That Teaches Itself to Drive Like a Human

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While companies like Google, Tesla, and Mercedes are spending millions on research and development of self-driving cars, a 26-year-old hacker from San Francisco believes he might just have nailed the technology all on his own. George Hotz, previously known for his legendary iPhone jailbreaking skills, says he has developed autonomous car technology that actually works. What’s more, the technology only costs a few thousand dollars, and can be implemented on any car in the world.

Hotz, who at age 17 became the first person in the world to unlock an iPhone, also hacked a Sony Playstation 3 a few years later. He’s worked briefly at Google, SpaceX, and Facebook, but after studying artificial intelligence at Carnegie Mellon University, he decided to work on his own self-driving car technology. Once perfected, he plans to sell the system directly to customers through his startup, comma.ai.

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Ukrainian Drivers Are Converting Their Cars into Wood Burners to Save Money on Gas

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With the advent of an energy crisis and the rising cost of gas, people are becoming interested in alternative forms of energy. For example, a growing number of Ukrainian drivers are turning to wood to power their cars to save money on fuel.

With the automobile industry slowly going electric, using wood as fuel hardly seems like the most practical solution. The technology isn’t exactly new. People have been creating wood-powered cars for decades, and they were actually quite popular during World War I, but in modern times, people have mostly built them as experiments, to prove that it can be done. Nowadays, more and more drivers in the Ukraine are fitting their old cars with wood burners and boilers to save money.

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Ford Creates “Drug Driving Suit” That Simulates Drug Impaired Driving

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Ford has come up with an ingenious way of showing young people the dangers of driving while under the influence of drugs. They’ve built a ‘drugged driving’ simulation suit that accurately replicates the effects of being high. Driving while wearing the suit will now be a compulsory module in the company’s worldwide driver education program, ‘Ford Driving Skills for Life’.

The suit, developed in collaboration with scientists from the Meyer-Hentschel Institute in Germany, is specially engineered to simulate distortion of the senses. It comes with padding, ankle weights, goggles, and headphones, all of which create the effect of reduced mobility and vision. So anyone wearing the suit will experience slower reaction time, distorted vision, and poor coordination. The goggles create tunnel vision while the headphones play random distracting sounds. Knee and elbow bandages slow limb movement, a neck brace limits head movement, while tremor generators make the hands shake uncontrollably.

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Company Builds World’s First Automobile Vending Machine

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Thanks to used-car website Carvana, it is now possible to buy your own set of wheels at the touch of a button, from the world’s first and only coin-operated car vending machine in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s err… not cheap, but cheaper than  buying a car the old fashioned way.

The company has been working on the concept for the past two years – their original car vending machine was installed in Atlanta in 2013. But they’ve spent time on improving the design, in order to take user experience to the next level. “Our new Vending Machine is a state-of-the-art, multi-story structure that delivers our customers’ cars by merely inserting a custom coin,” said Carvana CEO Ernie Garcia.

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Biker Repurposes Old Tractor into Unique Motorcycle

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Larry Medwig, from Painesville, Ohio, is so passionate about motorcycles that he can make one out of pretty much anything. A few years ago, he built the aptly-named ‘tractor cycle’ using parts from an old tractor!

Medwig’s unique vehicle has been spotted at various events and hardware stores across Ohio, as reported by a variety of bloggers. The earliest sighting was in 2010, at the ‘Hit and Miss’ show in Orwell. And according to blogger Andy Rupert – who spotted the tractor cycle on display at Joughin’s Hardware shop in Painesville – it looks like a “homemade vehicle” with the “front forks and handlebars made of iron plumbing pipes.”

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Lexus Unveils Drivable “Origami Car” Made of Precision-Cut Cardboard

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Luxury car giant Lexus is making headlines for creating a fully functional, drivable cardboard replica of its IS sedan. The ‘Origami Car’ was made by gluing slices of cardboard together on a steel and aluminum frame, with an electric motor powering it. The one-of-a-kind vehicle comes with fully fitted interiors, functioning doors, headlights, and wheels.

The striking cardboard car is meant to be a tribute to the thousands of skilled men and women – called takumi – who work on the Lexus production lines. These people apparently sharpen their craftsmanship and dexterity by practicing making an origami cat using only their non-dominant hand.

“The Origami Car takes the spirit of this talent to a far higher level, while also embracing the spirit of Lexus’s Creating Amazing global brand campaign,” the firm said in a statement.

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Brazilian Man Builds Clean Motorcycle That Can Travel 300 Miles on a Liter of Water

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Public officer Ricardo Azevedo is turning heads in his hometown of Sao Paulo, Brazil, with his intriguing invention – a motorcycle that runs on water. The revolutionary bike – aptly dubbed ‘T Power H2O’ – is able to travel up to 310 miles (nearly 500 kilometers) on a single liter of water!

In a recently released video, Azevedo is shown drinking from a water bottle before pouring it into the tank to prove that his bike runs solely on water and not some kind of fuel. But clean water is optional, as he later demonstrates by filling the tank with polluted water from the Tiete River.

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Chinese Motorist Builds His Own Futuristic Supercar for Just $4,800

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Chen Yinxi, a 27-year-old motorist from China, stole the show at the 2015 Hainan International Automotive Industry Exhibition, last week, with an impressive-looking futuristic supercar he built by himself, from scratch.

Majoring in automobile engineering, Chen has always dreamed of doing car design, and spent two years studying it in school. However, his parents always had other plans – their son was to work in the family factory, which he will one day inherit from his father. They encouraged him to drop out of college to work at the factory, but have remained supportive of him working on car design as a hobby. Now that the young motorist has gained international attention for building an original-looking supercar by himself, their plans may have to change.

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Company Unveils World’s First Commercially Available Luxury Tank

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If you happen to be a motor enthusiast with a soft-spot for ‘extreme off road recreation’, we have great news for you. The world’s first luxury tank – the Ripsaw EV2 Extreme Luxury Tank – is now available for purchase!

According maker Howe and Howe Tech, the platform ‘Ripsaw’ platform was originally designed and built as a high speed super tank for military use. It quickly proved to be the “fastest dual tracked vehicle ever developed” and ended up on the cover of Popular Science magazine. In 2013, Howe and Howe decided to introduce the cutting edge technology to the high end, luxury market. They spent “thousands of man hours” working on the project, and finally unveiled the ‘Ripsaw EV2’, a “handcrafted, limited run, high end luxury super tank, developed for the public.”

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This Military Armored Vehicle Is the Safest Taxi in Russia

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Russia’s newest taxi is unlike any other you’ve ever seen – it’s actually an armored reconnaissance vehicle that’s been modified to roam the streets of St. Petersburg just like any other cab. Although it has been painted red, its military design and deactivated turret gun machine can hardly be camouflaged and the vehicle never fails to grab attention every time it passes by.

The BRDM-2 Combat Command and Reconnaissance Vehicle was manufactured in the Soviet Union between 1963 and 1989. Well known for its ability to negotiate any kind of terrain, the BRDM was armed with a 14.5 mm Vladimirov heavy machine gun and a 7.62 mm Kalashnikov’s tank machine gun.

The BRDM’s current owner has long since wanted to use it as a taxi, but city authorities refused to grant a permit at first. After a long licensing campaign, the authorities finally gave in, with certain conditions. They asked that the vehicle’s camouflage pattern be changed to something more civilian. That’s why the owner chose red, in order to differentiate it from the standard yellow taxi color. The BRDM taxi is also prohibited from entering certain streets in the historical center of St. Petersburg, owing to its large size and weight.

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This Guy Has Been Driving Backwards for the Last 11 Years

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Indian taxi driver Harpreet Dev is well-known in his hometown of Bhatinda, Punjab, for his amazing reverse driving skills. The 30-year-old has been driving his cab in reverse for the past 11 years. Harpreet is so used to it now that he says he doesn’t trust himself to drive forwards anymore! He even has a special government license that allows him to drive backwards in any state in the northern part of India.

Harpreet’s passion for reverse driving started in 2003, when his faithful Fiat Padmini  got stuck in reverse gear late one night. “I was outside the city, I had no money, so I thought of driving the car backwards until Bhatinda,” he said. “Then I drove backwards and later on I gained confidence.”

That’s when he realised that he was really on to something, so the next morning he painted the words ‘Back Gear Champion’ on the side of the car and redesigned its gearbox to have four reverse gears and only one forward.

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